Atrium named in honor of El Pomar

An atrium in the Science & Engineering Building was named in recognition of a $1 million gift during a July 1 ceremony.

El Pomar Foundation, Colorado Springs, donated $1 million through the CU Foundation to aid the construction of the Science & Engineering Building, the largest building at UCCS. The building opened in Aug. 2009, receiving praise from students and faculty who use the building as well as professionals who have lauded its design and energy saving features.

The 4 p.m. ceremony in the atrium featured comments by CU President Bruce Benson and UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak as well as an unveiling of a plaque noting El Pomar’s gift by Carolyn Fox, architect, Facilities Services. El Pomar representatives and campus faculty, staff and students attended.

“The construction of Science & Engineering was an effort of many who represented both private and public support,” UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said. “It is fitting that we recognize the leadership of El Pomar with a public thank you and recognition of the foundation’s role on campus, in the community and within the state of Colorado.”

With 156,000 square feet and costing $56.1 million, Science & Engineering is the largest and most expensive building at UCCS. The building houses the departments of biology, physics, and mechanical and aerospace engineering as well as the National Institute for Science, Space and Security Centers and the CU Institute for Bioenergetics. A K-12 center assists teachers to encourage elementary, middle and high school students to consider science and technical studies. The building features solar power and other energy-saving construction and operation techniques that earned it a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold award.

El Pomar Foundation’s previous gifts to the university include a $4 million gift in 1999 to construct El Pomar Center and expand and remodel the Kraemer Family Library. A clock tower is named in honor of that gift. In 1990, El Pomar Foundation donated $3.15 million to create three endowed professorships that are the backbone of El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization which serves as a catalyst to encourage collaboration between the university and business as well entrepreneurship in the region.

Photos by Jeff Foster

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